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7 Myths About Edge Computing We Need to Dispel

7 myths edge computing 

By Victorio Duran III

Edge computing is a type of computing that processes data, digital assets, and other information far closer to the original source. This means that instead of storing data on the cloud, it is stored locally. Essentially, you are bringing the cloud to you. Edge computing can be more cost-effective, lower latency, and increase your computing architecture's overall reliability. Statistics show that:

  • The current edge computing market is worth almost $4 billion, but this will increase to over $40 billion by 2027.
  • Businesses will spend around 30% of their tech budgets on edge computing by 2023.

This sounds great, right? But despite all of this, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the world of edge computing. In this article, we will be looking to dispel any myths or misconceptions people have about edge computing.

1.   There's a war between edge and cloud computing

There is a common misconception that edge and cloud computing cannot co-exist in the same space. In fact, many people believe that edge computing will bring about a decentralized era of computing, and outcompete the cloud. A similar comparison can be made to when people went from fax to email service.

To assess if this is really the case, we need to establish some definitions. Cloud computing is the process of storing digital assets, processing information, and general computing data on a server. This is known as cloud migration. These servers, and this is the crucial part, are remotely located. The distance between the data and cloud computing companies' remote servers can result in lag time.

what is cloud computing

Image source

On the other hand, edge computing is located at a far shorter distance to the original data, which reduces the lag time. Another thing to note is when we refer to "lag time," we mean milliseconds, not a slow buffering YouTube video. But, this lag time is significant for time-sensitive processes and applications such as self-driving cars. Here, information needs to be computed rapidly, and any delay could result in severe consequences.

The main thing to consider when discussing cloud and edge computing is that one is for storage, and the other focuses on improving the processing of specific applications that rely on speed. Edge computing and the cloud are not rivals. They are companions.

2.   Edge computing is way out of my budget

Costs and expenses are always a central talking point whenever the subject of edge computing arises. The reality is, edge computing prices will vary. If you're a small business that creates high quality screen sharing software, then your costs will be far less than, let's say, Amazon.

When trying to assess whether or not edge computing is cost-effective for you, the size of the business isn't the only factor you should consider, but the specific industry too. For example, a company that processes large video files would need more servers and storage capabilities. In contrast, companies that process smaller datasets could create an edge computing set-up that runs on a simple, commercially available server.

Essentially, edge computing can be as you want it to be. It is incredibly versatile, can adapt to your business, and most importantly, is scalable.

3.   Edge computing is reliant on 5G

5G seems to be what everyone in both the tech and mainstream world is talking about, and rightly so. Experts estimate that 5G networks will provide coverage to 33% of the world's population by 2025. It can produce average data rates of over 100 megabits/second, and at its peak, this rate can even reach 20 gigabits/second.

Many people are under the impression that edge computing, which processes and computes data at much faster speeds, would require a 5G network to operate. This isn't the case. Here's why:

Let's say you're a consumer looking to purchase a product on Black Friday, you live 10 miles from the store, and there is one product remaining. Regardless of whether you walk, drive or jet pack to the store, an individual who lives 10m from the store will always get there first, and you're left searching for that product the next day on Cyber Monday. 5G will allow the data to travel to the endpoint faster, but the distance, which affects the processing, will still stay the same. 

5g network architecture

Image source

4.   Edge computing is brand new

Asynchronous communication is defined as communication that doesn't happen in real-time, such as emails or, more historically, letters. Parallels can be drawn between this example and edge computing. Edge computing is a new term for something that has existed for decades.

Sure, there are apparent differences between computing back then and edge computing. For example, edge computing is far more distributed, AI-powered, and in general, a lot smarter. But, the core fundamentals and architecture are still the same. 

5.   Edge computing is not secure

Data security is a concern for every single company. A breach could result in loss of reputation, customers, and expensive lawsuits. There is a common misconception that because edge computing uses smaller-sized data centers and devices, then the chance of a security risk significantly increases. This is not true.

A well-implemented edge computing system ensures that all digital information is stored, analyzed, processed, and computed using more than one device. This is advantageous as it decreases the probability of one breach disrupting the entire network.

Not only that, this distribution allows you to shut off the specific device that is experiencing the cyberattack without affecting the other devices. Edge computing only computes digital assets and data that have been collected locally. This means less data is available for hackers and cyber attackers to exploit and potentially intercept.

6.   Edge computing is irrelevant to my business

Edge computing is more than just an IT gimmick exclusive to Tesla. Edge computing has a variety of advantages that many businesses can exploit in lots of different industries.

Most businesses, whether you provide remote IT support or a manufacturing service, have and use equipment. At some point, this equipment may falter, which could lead to financial loss and a reduction in overall productivity. Edge computing allows your business to collect a vast amount of data from sensors located on the equipment to monitor its efficiency and forecast a fault. This is known as predictive maintenance.

Even though using edge computing in this fashion may not currently be as widespread, businesses need to stay competitive. This is because many start-up businesses and competitors may be implementing these strategies to get ahead, and it is crucial for you to do the same.

7.   Edge computing is a fad that will fade

As we have mentioned above, edge computing is a powerful analytics tool that various businesses can harness in numerous industries. Data collection and analysis is crucial to business success. Whether you're a small business that provides a virtual phone number solution or Google, data allows you to predict customer behavior and help you to make correct business decisions. Studies have shown that over 50% of US organizations believe that fast and accurate data collection and analysis is an essential aspect of their strategy.

So, it is unlikely that edge computing will disappear in the near future.

Statistics also show that the edge computing service market is set to increase by 50% in the next year, especially with the increase in AI technology that requires fast machine learning. Right now, around 10% of data is collected and processed outside of conventional cloud computing methods. But, a study by Gartner predicts that by 2025 around 75% of data will be processed outside of the cloud. 

us edge computing market

Image source

To sum up

Edge computing is a reinvented concept that is here to stay. Edge computing's versatility and scalability make it perfect for both start-ups and well-established businesses. It has a variety of uses in a plethora of industries, and due to its security, companies can provide their customers with a data safety guarantee. Edge computing is rapidly expanding, and businesses should be considering their options to ensure that they stay competitive. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Victorio Duran III -  RingCentral US

victorio duran 

Victorio is the Associate SEO Director at RingCentral, a global leader in cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions. He has over 13 years of extensive involvement on web and digital operations with diverse experience as web engineer, product manager, and digital marketing strategist.

Published Tuesday, March 02, 2021 8:32 AM by David Marshall
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